‘Mass Chaos’ as 37,000 People Evicted from Louisiana Nursing Homes
At least 37,000 nursing home residents will receive eviction notices starting this week after the new healthcare budget which was passed by Congress and that could leave thousands of Americans without any healthcare coverage.
Bob Johannessen, the spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Health said that those who will be affected by the new budget will be notified immediately that they are no longer enrolled in the Medicaid program – and for some of the enrollees, the disastrous news could result in eviction from their nursing homes.
37,000 People to be Evicted
The Department of Healthcare in Louisiana has already begun the notification process to those Medicaid enrollees who could lose healthcare as a result of the new budget approved by the state’s House of Representatives. The department’s spokesperson said last week that the government is trying to notify the affected people as quickly as they can so that they have more time to look into alternative healthcare plans.
Governor John Bel Edward is planning to hold a press conference just a day before the eviction notices are planned to be sent out to more than 37,000 residents of nursing homes and various care facilities who are no longer eligible for Medicaid.
The Louisiana Nursing Home Association’s director, Mark Berger gave a testimony in front of the State Finance Committee during a meeting on Monday and said that the Association was informed about the new budget’s consequences by the Department of Health a few weeks ago and were asked to prepare eviction letter for residents who were no longer enrolled in the Medicaid program.
GOP’s Plan to Roll Back Obama’s Healthcare Reforms
More than 70 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid, the biggest state-provided insurance program in the United States that provides medical coverage for one in five people living in the country.
During Obama’s presidency, the government expanded the Medicaid program even more to ensure that all low-income adults who need free healthcare are eligible to receive it. But ever since Donald Trump took office in 2016, his administration has been hell-bent on rolling back the healthcare reforms that made Medicaid and other government-provided insurance plans accessible to low-income families around the country.
For the past several months, states have been encouraged by the GOP-led government to change the eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs so that fewer people receive free healthcare. Recently, the states of Kentucky and Michigan announced that they were introducing new requirements like employment for Medicaid eligibility which could result in termination of program enrollment for those able-bodied residents who are currently unemployed.
‘Mass Chaos’ for People of Louisiana
The problem was even more serious in Louisiana where Senate Finance held a meeting this Monday to hear public testimony after receiving the new health budget from Congress. During the eight-hour congregation, Senator Regina Barrow said that the new budget seemed like ‘mass chaos’ for the people of Louisiana – especially those would no longer be eligible for long-term care after being ousted from the Medicaid plan.
The new budget passed in Congress is set to kick in from July 1, which is when the evictions from care homes will begin. The Senate revealed that the GOP budget also cuts serious corners on healthcare due to a $600 million shortfall created by temporary taxes worth $1.4 billion which are due to expire on June 30.
One of the safety net hospitals in Louisiana sent out a mass notice to its over-800 employees saying that the hospital may need to shut down and lay off all employees if Congress approves the healthcare cuts being debated for next year’s budget.
Experts suggest that if the government introduced permanent taxes, the healthcare cuts could be significantly mitigated but the Legislature turned down the suggestion to raise taxes in favor of sacrificing the country’s healthcare system.
Chief executive of Holy Angels, a care house in Shreveport that looks after people with intellectual and developmental disabilities said that evicting those residents who are legitimately in need of healthcare will make the care-givers look heartless. ‘There is no place for these people to go,’ he added.
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